The Saab 9-3 was introduced for the 1999 model year and joined the lineup of various entry level luxury cars that were being manufactured in America and abroad. Offered as the replacement for the compact Saab 900, the 9-3 shared much of its predecessor's design cues. It was available as a two door hatchback, four door hatchback or convertible style with an energetic four cylinder turbocharged engine and horsepower ranging from 185 to 230 depending upon the model selected. This particular version remained in production throughout the 2002 model year, with a significantly redesigned version introduced in 2003 that was the recipient of favorable industry reviews due to its outstanding front wheel drive handling capabilities, large cargo areas and comfortable interior.
The 2007 Saab 9-3 entered the arena available as a sedan, SportCombi wagon and convertible, all with a new set of technologically advanced options that include both XM Radio and the On Star navigational system. The freshly designed interior features attractive two tone color schemes accented with matte black finishes, automatic climate control and an attractive dashboard and instrument panel. The 2.0 liter 16 valve turbocharged engine puts out 210 horsepower, while the 2.8 liter turbocharged V6 delivers 250 horsepower. Distinctively Saab features still exist, such as the floor mounted ignition switch and more the extra amount of cargo space that has been so appreciated in this class of vehicle. An area in which the 9-3 excels is safety, featuring two-stage side seat-mounted airbags, curtain airbags on sedan and wagon models, antilock brakes with Brake Assist, extremely supportive head restraints, stability control and tire-pressure monitors.
As with most imported cars, repair costs can be higher than average for the Saab 9-3. Though handling is above average and the interior is quite plush, the ride quality can be a little on the rough side if you spend long amounts of time on the road. All in all, this is vehicle that has retained its value well and is a very capable and attractive as a coupe or convertible.